Category Archives: Deseret News Columns

An end-of-year prayer

Originally published in the Deseret News.

An End of Year Prayer

Like a lot of people, I have many thoughts on my mind as 2016 comes to a close. When thoughts turn to words, it can take many literary forms — a memo, an essay, a poem, lyrics for a song or even a prayer. I decided to take my thoughts about troubling world events, homelessness, crime, addiction and income disparities, and compose a personal, non-denominational end-of-year prayer. My hope is that the simplicity and solemnity of the prayer will help us in 2017. Here is my prayer:

Dear God,

Thank you for this beautiful day. The earth you created continues to inspire me. I recognize your hand in the sun and the moon and the sky. Thank you.

I’m also grateful for the remarkable people in my life.

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Is increasing diversity good for Utah?

Originally published in the Deseret News.

(God) did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world.

— Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Utah’s population is growing and diversifying. Each year, birth by birth, death by death, and migrant by migrant, the population changes. We are growing, aging, diversifying, and urbanizing. Today’s population is dramatically different than just three decades ago.

Last year, approximately 21,000 more people moved into the state than moved out. That number will likely be even greater this year. These newcomers create a state that is more diverse, more progressive and more open to new ideas.

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Please, Mr. Trump, Apologize

Originally published in the Deseret News.

The young man in his twenties seemed insistent to speak with me. I had just finished participating on a post-election panel where I expressed my deepest-held feelings about president-elect Trump. I decided to own my feelings and let them show. I told the crowd I was insulted and hurt. Trump had deeply offended my sensibilities as a woman. My hurt was magnified on election night when I realized so many fellow citizens didn’t feel the same way.

The inquisitive young man tracked me down through the crowd after the panel ended. He clearly wanted to talk. He waited while I exchanged business cards and spoke with a few other folks in the audience. Then he and I stood face to face. He posed the question, “I just have to ask you. What is it you find so offensive about Donald Trump. I really want to understand.”

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Start with yourself to heal a divided America

Originally published by the Deseret News,

I’m like a lot of Americans. I’m dead tired of the 2016 presidential election, but I still find myself scrolling through social media feeds, reading and watching news coverage, and sharing opinions with friends and family. I’m sick of the election but also realize its importance. The time for choosing is upon us, voting has begun and, within a week, we will select our new president.

He or she will inherit a seriously divided country, a so-so economy and a confrontational Congress. Even worse, the president-elect will enter the Oval Office in January with a gaping wound. Yes, that’s right, the United States of America, the land of the free and home of the brave, has a rotten, stinky and infected wound. We won’t reclaim our leadership in the world until we stop the bleeding, stitch it up, bandage it and give it time to heal.

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Imagine Utah’s next 50 years

Originally published in the Deseret News.

In 1966, Utah reached the 1 million population milestone. Community leaders celebrated the achievement by greeting Utah’s newest resident — dubbed “Mr. Million” – with a 60-piece band as he stepped off the airplane. Since then Utah has added another 2 million people, and projections released last week by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute suggest another 2.5 million new residents over the next 50 years. It begs the question, what does the future portend for the Beehive State?

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Thought jewels from Washington, D.C.

Originally published in the Deseret News.

I’ve been fortunate this week to spend time in Washington, D.C.. with a delegation of community leaders from the Salt Lake Chamber. The Chamber puts on an amazing program, including face time with each member of the Utah congressional delegation, Gov. Gary Herbert, cybersecurity experts, the speaker of the House, prominent senators, and a leading pollster. There were several thought jewels shared for those interested in politics and public policy. I thought I’d share a few.
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A plea for bridges not a wall

    Originally published in the Deseret News.

    I have a vivid memory of my first visit to the D-Day beaches on the coast of France. The white tombstones at the American cemetery, the bombed-out and pitted grassy hills of the Pointe du Hoc, and the quiet waves rushing ashore at Omaha Beach created a powerful sense of patriotism and national identity for me. I have never been so proud to be an American.

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Lessons learned from Utah’s Olympic moment

Originally published in the Deseret News.

“Not everybody gets the chance to skate the performance of their life.” That was U.S. figure skater Sarah Hughes’ assessment of how she had catapulted from fourth place to Olympic gold on the last night of the figure skating competition in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Her performance mirrored Utah’s achievement in hosting the Olympics. We excelled in nearly every way. With the Rio Olympics in full swing, it’s a great time to reflect on Utah’s Olympic moment and the lessons learned.
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